Changeable with occasional snow for the Northern Alps


By Henri on 23 November 2022 · 0

Wintry Lech after the snowfall of yesterday (foto-webcam.eu)
Wintry Lech after the snowfall of yesterday (foto-webcam.eu)

After yesterday's nice snowfall, it has already cleared up in many parts of the Alps. But we won't have to wait long before the next snow reaches the Alps. Another cold front is already approaching from the west which will give some snow for the Northwestern Alps.

In this weather report:

  • Recap of yesterday's snowfall
  • Cold front with some snow
  • Quiet weekend
  • Snow again from the northwest

30 centimetres fresh snow in Nassfeld
30 centimetres fresh snow in Nassfeld
Nebelhorn - Oberstdorf (foto-webcam.eu)
Nebelhorn - Oberstdorf (foto-webcam.eu)

Snowfall yesterday

After the models had enormous difficulty estimating the expected snowfall for a long time, the latest model runs came up with a fairly unambiguous picture. Looking at the precipitation that has fallen, it corresponds pretty well. On a large scale in the Eastern Alps, some 20 to 30 centimetres of snow fell, with outliers to around half a metre, of course, in the South-Eastern Alps, but also along the Alpine main ridge around the Tauern. Most fell in a line from the Southern Dolomites to the Carnic Alps. Also note the webcam image from Nassfeld, where you can clearly see that the snowfall was accompanied by strong winds.

Cold front with some snow

After a brief sunny interlude today, another front will follow from the west during the afternoon. The French northern Alps and western Switzerland can expect some 5 to 15 centimetres with a snowline that will drop just below 1,500 metres. In the evening and night, the precipitation will move further east across the Northern Alps.

With the passing of the front, the wind will also pick up considerably. Tomorrow during the day behind the front, the northern Alps will continue to experience some snow showers with a northwesterly flow. On the southern side, it will remain dry. In the northern Alps, there will also be strong winds higher up through tomorrow.

Weak cold front reaches the Western Alps Friday (wetter3.de, DWD)
Weak cold front reaches the Western Alps Friday (wetter3.de, DWD)
Expected snowfall until Sunday
Expected snowfall until Sunday

Weekend proceeds somewhat calmer

Friday is slightly milder, but soon the wind in the northern Alps turns north again and a weak cold front reaches the north-west Alps. After first some snow showers in Switzerland, the precipitation spreads over the rest of the Northern Alps. It will not bring much. In the inner-Alpine areas, it may even stay completely dry and due to the weak front it will also not snow much more than 5 to 10 centimetres in the stau areas. In Austria, the snowline could drop down into the valleys again. Here, some snow showers will also be possible on Saturday.

In the course of the weekend, we will see significantly higher temperatures (above 5 degrees at 1500 metres) in the Western Alps, while the Eastern Alps are still well below freezing at the same level. Sunday will be dry everywhere, but in the Western Alps more and more clouds will appear; a new cold front is approaching. Before the front reaches the Alps, the pressure gradient over the Alps increases, causing the Northern Alps to temporarily experience Southföhn during the night from Sunday to Monday and Monday morning. The colder air masses are thus also temporarily expelled in Austria.

After that?

So on Monday, another cold front follows from the north-west with some snow, probably around 10-20 centimetres of fresh snow and possibly a bit more in the northern stau regions. The snowline drops again to (well) below 1500 metres during this snowfall. After that, the differences between the models increase, but it seems that the northern and eastern Alps will remain in reasonably cold air masses at least for a few extra days.

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